Outsourcing your writing to a freelance copywriter can be a challenging task. The wrong writer can cause project delays, increase your workload and even cost you more in the long run. However, the right writer can make your life easier and improve your marketing ROI.
Many marketing professionals work with several copywriters before they find the best fit. You can make your search easier by looking for the following 3 qualities in a freelance copywriter:
Experience in Your Industry
Some copywriters are generalists, which means they write about everything from cosmetics to automotive parts. Generalists can be a good choice for agencies that work in a variety of sectors and need writers who can take on anything. However, a generalist may not be the best option for businesses with complex or highly technical offers.
If your product or service has a steep learning curve, you’ll need a writer who has prior experience in your industry. I’ve had several clients come to me after working with generalists who didn’t understand their industry. This caused delays as the copywriters missed deadlines, dropped out of the project or handed in copy that couldn’t be used.
Working with someone who has experience in your industry can decrease the amount of time you spend briefing the writer and providing feedback on drafts. This can also make your projects run more smoothly and bring you better results.
You can find a freelance copywriter with experience in your industry by asking for referrals or searching online for “copywriter” plus your industry.
One of the biggest concerns that marketers have when they hire a freelance copywriter is if they will get their copy on time. After all, the freelancer isn’t located in your office where you can keep an eye on them! Plus, American Writers & Artists once revealed that 75% of copywriters miss their deadlines.
One way to determine if a copywriter will meet your deadlines is by asking for testimonials or references that speak to their reliability. You can even ask the copywriter to put the project deadline in their contract, which should increase your chances of receiving your copy on time.
You can also help your copywriter by sending them all your background info and quickly responding to any questions. If you don’t give them the info they need until the day before the project is due, your copywriter may not be able to meet your deadline.
A Proven Process
Your project will flow much more smoothly if your copywriter has a process for completing projects successfully. This process can include asking you the right questions, providing you with a creative brief if you don’t have one and keeping in touch throughout the project.
Your copywriter should also have a system for handling revisions, as this can greatly affect your project timelines. For example, how many rounds of revisions do you need your copywriter to provide at no extra charge? How long does it typically take them to turn around edits?
If you know in advance that you’ll need to outsource a lot of your marketing copy, you can “test” a new copywriter with a small project. If the project goes well, you can feel confident moving forward.